Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Joy Diet...Week 5: Chapter 4....."CREATIVITY".......

well....where has mine gone I would ask? I am not going to take photos of my journal this week because to be honest....it does not have much in it but ramblings about why I just had issues with this chapter. In fact....I have been working ahead in this book and I have even more issues with future chapters coming up.

I am not sure where this leads me or what it means. I wondered if I was just making up excuses as to why I did not feel I could or should or would do certain "instructions" per Martha's guidelines in this book.

Unfortunately for me....or maybe fortunately....The Joy Diet has brought me little true "JOY!" Now maybe that is part of the plan...after all we all get "uncomfortable" and "touchy" during times of soul searching and changes.

During this week's chapter I have realized I have a REAL time issue. NOT one that is made up....but real. I work from home 8 hours or more per day to support myself and my son. I also homeschool him which takes a few hours out of the day. I also have to take him to his various therapies each week. AND then there are the usual things around the home that need to be taken care of..which I do all of those myself. I think I am feeling overwhelmed and if you factor in there about 5 hours of sleep I am lucky to get each night...my 24 hours is pretty much used up for any given day.

I then thought well Melinda.....it must be YOU. YOU are not disciplined enough.....or you are LAZY.....etc. BUT you know what? I am tired. I am tired of being given all these instructions of what I should or should not be doing or what I should or should not eat or how I should or should not be. I have so many instructions and lists of things to do that never get completed...things never getting crossed off my perpetual TO DO list.....it depresses me...which makes me not feel like doing anything. It is so hard to hang onto any real JOY when one feels like that.

By working ahead I found the next chapter was on Risks...and then Treats. I had an even bigger problem with RISKS.....thinking that chapter was entirely crap. I did not think much of purposefully seeking out any risk taking behavior I may find scary or uncomfortable to "help me" in any way reach any desire I might have. Obviously I was not getting it....and maybe it is because I came out of this CREATIVITY chapter with such a bad attitude.

Don't even get me started on the Treats chapter. I made it as far as the PLAY chapter.....but was by then mostly skimming or only reading. I no longer felt like a participant. I was on the outside looking in.

It must be nice to have a life so cookie cutter clear and clean. Where one can just cut out a portion each day to do specific things and that portion never gets smashed to shit and changed entirely into some unknown blob you no longer recognize. I don't have that luxury anymore...and have not for a very long time. Of course that could be a rather boring life perhaps too. Since my son was born my life is more "spur of the moment" now and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately; however, many times these "flexes" and "changes" in our schedules
happened because of bad things pertaining to my son.....times he would get into trouble at school because of his autism and the fact that the school staff has no freaking clue what autism is even about let alone how to handle a child in school who has autism. Yeah..can you HEAR my bad attitude? IT SCREAMS from my insides yet silently.

I have worked so hard to float......just to keep my head above water and float...enjoy the ride..be peaceful....maintain a sense of peace anyway......relax......smile...be happy...believe I am happy and all will be well...try to realize all will be well no matter what......fake it till I make it.....all that crap. Working through this book has just made a whirlpool out of my calm seas. Maybe this is part of Martha's plan...but I don't like how it is making me become ...how I feel inside. I have worked hard to be flexible with my schedule.....to let things go.....to stay in my pajamas all day if I feel like it and not feel bad because of it. I have found many ways to keep myself and my son sane and happy....stress-free.

Maybe I am ticked because I realize I just don't have time to write 5 of these things out each day or 10 of those...or even to take 10 minutes each day for myself to sit and do nothing. SO many things get added to this growing list of things to do and my list is already out the door. I like Martha....but I just don't have enough extra time to do all the stuff she expects us to do. I just don't. Will I still achieve my goals as I recognize them? SURE I will....when I am ready.....I always have once I make up my mind on something. That was never an issue for me. MAKING UP my mind might be however...but it is going to have to just "float" for awhile too....simmer.

So I have decided to STOP my pursuit of this particular project because it just is making me have a really bad attitude. It has become something I feel I MUST do and yet can never accomplish at the same time which does not help me feel good about myself or help me reach any goal let alone any desire I might have.

I DO admit that some of my attitude is stemming from the realization that some of my desires hinge on the actions (or lack thereof) of other people. That pisses me off now....and I find that just unacceptable. I am tired of excuses and run arounds. WHAT I do with this information in my life I am not yet sure.

SO.......I have a bad attitude and frame of mind right now. I cannot find it in me to go further...

This diet for me is over......

AFTER reading someone else's post on this week's chapter I realized I do not care for Martha's SMUG attitude throughout...and the silly crappy suggestions she makes from time to time about listing even ILLEGAL things to do towards reaching your desire.....illegal ideas. I guess I am a bit more practical and wish to avoid wasting my time thinking about ILLEGAL things I could do that I will never do anyway..in hopes that somehow will inspire me to think of even more things to solve all my problems...blah, blah, blah. It must be very hard being MARTHA and having all of life's answers bottled up inside her head!

I also now realize why it is called the JOY DIET! Diets are about RESTRICTIONS.......less of's......perhaps that is what happens here via Martha on purpose.....we are being RESTRICTED of JOY in our lives. Because that is certainly what has been happening to me the farther I got into this book.

As I said before......the diet is OVER for me....and I am sorry if this hurts any fellow participants feelings...but it is how I feel and I am not holding back about it here on my own blog.

AND I could not have said it any better than Collage Diva sums up on her post this week. I LOVE what she did with her ideas this week..and if my copy of this book had not been a library copy...I would have long ago wrecked it too!

Check out her work here:

COLLAGE DIVA


20 comments:

Grammy said...

I am in the treat chapter too. And was already angry at truth. It is not you. It is that this book is not for us. I am done too. I do not know I will do a post on it. As since starting this book I only put up art work and some words. I too feel like I lost my happy. Or it is just in the air of fall. I am working on getting out of the new depression. And wondering if I should write about it or not.
I so wish you to re find your happiness too.
Big hug.

Melinda said...

well Grammy I made it to the PLAY chapter.....but by then I was mostly skimming and only reading...not really into working through the stuff anymore. I am not sure what happened here...but I am just not feeling it or don't have time for it or am copping out. Not sure. Maybe a little of all the above. OR....maybe cause I have other more pressing things to deal with right now in life.

Wishing you the best too! Sorry you are having a rough time of it!

bubbly girl said...

Wow, I can feel your frustration! I think none of us is strictly following Martha's book, and I bet lots of other people are feeling the same as you. For me, it has been a great start for making changes, and I will continue. Your post was an eye-opener for me, because i often think I have a time issue, but compared to you and other people (adults), I am free as a bird. I think you made the right decision to stop and I wish you all the luck!

KathrynAntyr said...

You hung in there longer than my dear friend who read through several chapters in the first week and pitched the book in week one! I think Martha packed so many activities into each chapter, because she had to fill it. A publisher would not, after all, publish a pamphlet! Hahaha

Reading about your day, it sounds like you have so much courage and strength. I'm a single mother too however, my son is healthy and now 13 years old so I have more and more time for myself. I will often overlook housework to play. Taking good care of yourself is so important. Find ways to get more sleep. Being well rested makes everything easier to deal with. One book you may enjoy is the "Extreme Self Care" book. It presents one activity to do a month - one chapter a month. It is a great pace and it is all about taking care of ourselves. It is by Cheryl Richardson.

I laughed out loud when I read down to the end of your post and you linked to mine. I'm so happy to hear that I'm not alone in my feelings about this book.

Keep in touch.
{soul hugs}
Kathryn, Collage Diva

Lawendula said...

Hugs to you, dear, I so so so understand, what you are feeling. When you read my blog, you will find a big question mark there too.
And I am in dialoge with Collage Diva and we both agree: this enemy thing is strange.
Yes, and about the risks, it's strange too.
I don't want to stop this "diet" (I wasn't always too happy with the title), because there are some really interesting points, but I really see, what this does to you and it's so great to say: No, I'm out of this, when everyone is waving flags and saying: Oh it's so nice for me.
In fact, it started with 15 minutes and if you are making all the things she suggested, you need at least an hour a day!!!
This would have been my next question to others: RISK. Who has the time and the nerves to play along with risks EVERY DAY????
I wonder...I really do.

valli said...

I just wanted to say that I really admire your strength to get through your very full days. Though the Joy Diet isn't the best book I've read, it does have me thinking about various parts of my life. I don't do or take Martha at 100% but I do allow those thoughts to start mulling over. I didn't get into the enemy idea at all so I skipped that part and went the next paragraph that maybe I could cope with.
Thank you for being so very honest about your feelings and willing to share them with us. Please take care and I'll check back because I like your blog and your notebooks. :)

GraceGal said...

I sure hope that helped you feel better- getting all that off your chest. It's way too much to carry around. Girl, your plate is full! I could see this picture of a plate piled high, then plopping the Joy diet book on top. Perhaps a bit of guilt and self-doubt as salt and pepper. You are doing life and sometimes that's all one gal can handle. You gave it a try and it didn't work for you. Sending a little prayer up for you for added strength today.

Kara aka Mother Henna said...

Think there are so many of who get it! Sometimes books end up having gems in them, sometimes not. It's okay. I loooove collage diva's wrecking, too - brilliant :) Sending you supportive vibes, and will look forward to reading just to read your blog, doesn't matter if you are doing the joy diet thingy or not!

WrightStuff said...

I think we've all struggled this week! I don't blame you for giving up - like you I have very little time in the day for any of this - it would be nice and I hope to embrace some of Martha's lessons. I guess if we only take away a few things then it's better than none at all. After reading your post I feel better about quitting or at least progressing at a much slower pace... We'll see! If I find any spare time - I'll send it to you! Hugs. Lisa x

sherry ♥ lee said...

Brava!! I don't think you are alone in your thoughts about this book. I hope you take comfort in that knowledge and realize that it isn't YOU...you aren't the problem or it isn't you that doesn't get it. What you speak about is what most of us are feeling...there is some "good" in the book but a lot of it is crap and almost impossible to do. When she talked about enemies that was it for me. I'm not sure how much longer I'll stay with it -- if risk and play are as bad as you've experienced...maybe it's just not worth it.

Thanks for your honesty and your thoughts on this. It's always good to get other people's perspectives isn't it? And yes, Kathryn's take on this was priceless!!

Lucy Ladham-Dyment said...

Sorry, that you had a hard time with the chapter and have quit the book. Keep reading the blogs. Maybe something there will resonate with you one day. Hugs

Karen D said...

Hey Melinda thank you so much for your honesty with where you are with this book and in your life. It sounds like you have a full plate and I hope your load gets a lighter. I totally respect and understand you wanting to quit the book. I have some problems with it but I have found some good also, so I will take the good and leave the rest behind. I understand the time issue, I actually don't do the book the whole week, I try to sit with the chapter for about an hour or so a week, that is all I have. I actually like the community here so I stick with it. Even though you are not doing it any longer I hope you check in to say hi...

Lisa @sacred circle said...

I am so grateful for your honesty... there are so many folks with strong reactions this week, and I understand where they're coming from.

It sure does sound like you have a lot going on~ what a tremendously brave woman you are. I have such compassion for your frustration and anger, and can see why it's draining to you to go to the places that Martha suggests when I imagine you're are simply exhausted already.

I don't sit and write out answers to Martha's questions... for me, I read it at the beginning of the week, let it stew in the back of my mind while I'm busy doing other things... I may try out an exercise that resonates with me, but not the ones that don't.

My point is, you do what you can, and go with what you feel you connect with, and leave behind the rest (even if it's the whole book!). Your journey is unique and rich and only you can decide where it goes next. I support your decision to toss the book, but I'll miss your honesty and insights... :)

Many many hugs....

Amy Jewell said...

I love this post. I do hope that you keep going because you are obviously so close to something big for you. Even if you don't post it for the world to see, work on it privately.

I share your frustrations in life. I work a very stressful 40 hour a week job and am trying in the tiny scraps of free time I have to start a new business which will free me of a job that I do not love. I can't quit and free myself of the time of that because I need to make money to pay the bills but I have next to ZERO money on my new business after a whole year of pouring my heart into it. Very frustrating. It feels like, if I give up and just don't do the new business that I am giving up on the one thing that will free me of this mess and I will be giving up on myself and I just can't do that.

I feel for you. I don't know how I would do what you are doing and I choked up reading your angry pleas to the Universe. I can say this one thing... you are not alone. Many of us feel the way that you do, but many do not call out and tell others. I think that you did a brave thing here and because of that, this is one of the most daring and memorable posts I have read about this book. Please keep at it. Find those 15 minutes of peace in your life. Make them more important than eating and you might find that the rest of it feels a little more manageable. I say this because I know that is what I-I-I need to do with mine too.

Jean said...

I'm glad you posted what you were feeling about this journey. For me, the most important part of all of this is getting to read the blogs of the participants.

Good for you for deciding to stop this diet. Life is too short to do stuff that feels so bad to you.

Take care of yourself and I hope to see you in a different "The Next chapter" journey sometime.

Sankofa Doll Artistry said...

You are something else! Wow! Love this post! Your thoughts are really resonating with me!

Ellecubed said...

Good for you. I think it is great that you realize your limitations and are deciding out of self care to stop The Joy Diet.

becky n said...

This book does become cumbersome in it's time requirements. I am "retired" though do some babysitting every day for my grandchildren, and I don't have full time child care duties, never mind dealing with systems that thwart parents of children with special needs. And even I can't find time to do all the exercises - though I try as much as possible to at least do nothing for a few minutes most days.

I was disappointed in this chapter - and am now wary of upcoming ones, but will plug on. I love the community here in all of our various forms.

Hope to still see you around, and wish you joyful days, however you find them.

Melissa said...

Hey Melinda...I love you! I just wanted to tell you that. I feel like you do about time, sometimes I don't feel like there enough hours in the day.

I signed up to start this, I read the first chapter and said, "I'm not doing this." I read some of the other chapters and found it to be a bit on the silly side myself. That was why I never participated. I don't know, I've lost all my creativity and do not have any time for it anymore, but I'm working full time, going to school, and have Audrey. Where's my "me" time?

I'm rambling, but just read your post, and wanted to comment.

Melinda said...

thanks everyone for your visits and comments.

I LOVE YOU TOO Melissa!